Short Fiction

Bernice Bobs Her Hair

Published in 1920 in the “Saturday Evening Post,” a popular magazine of the day, "Bernice Bobs Her Hair" deals with a favorite theme of F. Scott Fitzgerald's: the desire for popularity in the shallow, appearance-obsessed social climate of the famous "Roaring Twenties." Bernice visits her cousin Marjorie for a month in August. Marjorie makes it known that Bernice is a drag on her social life because she does not have the social graces to keep men’s attention. Bernice takes her cousin’s advice to be more attractive, but the advice comes at a price from a selfish, vindictive girl. Fitzgerald’s idea for this story came from instructional letters that he wrote to his younger sister to coach her how to be more attractive to men. Though he originally rejected the story as “trash,” he later published it in a collection of his 24 best stories—one of the only stories to make it out of the original anthology in which it was published.

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